Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Athletes and Alternative Medicine

As an athlete, you need to be in a state of continual improvement, continual practice, and continual innovation. To stay fit and functional, it’s crucial to address health issues, not just as they arise, but also preventatively. It’s no secret that many top athletes employ alternative medicine to keep them at the top of their game. But which of those practices are helpful for the rest of us?

Acupuncture/Dry Needling: Acupuncture and the related field of dry needling both use intramuscular stimulation via small, fine needles in order to relieve pain/inflammation and encourage healing. The benefits of acupuncture and dry needling are well established, with few risks when practiced by professionals.

Kinesio Taping: Kinesio taping and related methods are rehabilitative tape placements designed to provide support and stability without movement restriction as well as reduce swelling. Although Kinesio taping is noninvasive, when applied improperly it can cause tissue damage, so it’s crucial that a certified or experienced practitioner performs this treatment.

Chiropractic/Osteopathic Treatment: Both chiropractic and osteopathic treatments involve muscle, bone, and tissue manipulation to improve function and flexibility. Both practices have a long history of success with minimal risk.

Lomilomi: Lomilomi is a Hawaiian practice of massage without the use of any tools or devices, emphasizing the benefits of skin to skin contact, often in concert with other holistic modalities.

PRP Treatment: Also known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, PRP involves injecting a concentrated version of the patient’s own blood into injured tissue to stimulate recovery. Because PRP has no outside substances, it is ideal for athletes who compete in sports where certain substances have been banned.

Prolotherapy: Prolotherapy is another injected treatment, using a non-nutrient, non-steroid dextrose and anesthetic combination to fortify ligaments, tendons, or joint capsules. While the anesthetic component is non-narcotic, it may not be approved for use in all sports, so consult your doctor prior to treatment.

If you’re looking to improve as an athlete or come back vigorously from an injury, you should certainly consider adding one or more of these alternative treatments to your medical regimen. To speak to one of our experienced staff about which options would be best for your situation, request an appointment now!


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Thinking Outside the Box to Treat Fibromyalgia

Due to the variety of issues associated with Fibromyalgia, it can be bewildering to try and manage all of your symptoms through one treatment modality. After being diagnosed by a qualified physician and starting a medication regimen, there are other options to consider that could improve your level of daily functioning. These options are known as ‘Complementary’ or ‘Alternative Medicines’, and are known collectively as CAM.

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  • Massage: Therapeutic massage can improve many fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Manual lymph drainage therapy is particularly helpful for patients who suffer from blocked or damaged lymph vessels.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture provides a pain reducing effect for many, and can also improve energy and quality of sleep. For those who suffer from numbness or tingling, acupuncture can be helpful in restoring more normal sensation in the extremities.
  • Reiki: Reiki is based on Eastern medicinal practices involving the body’s natural healing energies, and the conscious direction of those energies, for fibromyalgia-related pain and mental alertness.
  • Balneotherapy: Also known as ‘Bath Therapy for Health Purposes’ balneotherapy is growing in popularity due to its positive results for fibromyalgia symptoms, particularly pain, tension, stiffness, and sleep issues. It can also be utilized in conjunction with other CAM treatments for enhanced benefits.
  • Tai Chi/Qi Gong: Tai Chi and the related Qi Gong both involve simple body movements, done deliberately and slowly. Most experts recommend a gentle exercise routine to help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms not only to improve function but to aid in establishing a healthy sleep cycle.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback allows patients to have more conscious control over normal automatic and unconscious body processes, such as blood pressure, temperature, sweat, and tension. By harnessing this technique, fibromyalgia patients are often able to reduce symptoms on-the-spot, as needed, without medication or outside intervention.

 

Ultimately, you shouldn’t test out any CAM practice without consulting your healthcare provider. He or she may have suggestions based on your other health concerns. For example, if you have high blood pressure, balneotherapy could be counterproductive. With a combination of treatments, both traditional and complementary, many fibromyalgia patients have active, fulfilling lives. Contact us or request an appointment today.


Good health requires balance. Physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, pain management, and stress relief all contribute to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. At the Advanced Health and Wellness Center of New Jersey, we help patients struggling with weight loss, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other conditions using holistic techniques. Request an appointment and get started on a path towards comprehensive wellness.